Written by Plainview-Old Bethpage Herald Staff Saturday, 28 September 2013 00:00
The Plainview-Old Bethpage Chamber of Commerce kicked off it’s first meeting after the summer break, gearing up for a busy year chock full of exciting and important activities and programs.
The Chamber is a dynamic association of local businesses, civic associations and community residents whose goal it is to promote local business, develop relationships amongst members and promote the Plainview-Old Bethpage community as a place to “Live, Work & Play.” The Chamber’s membership has grown to its largest ever, boasting 143 members who represent the business community.
The Chamber’s September kick-off meeting, held at the Carlyle at the Palace, featured New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli, who spoke about the economic health of New York State and Long Island. As described by DiNapoli, the
State Comptroller’s Office is the “oversight and accountability” arm of New York State.
DiNapoli discussed the health of small businesses.
“Small businesses make a difference and are the job creators for the future,” he said. “[They constitute] “the front line of the economy.”
DiNapoli emphasized that both New York State and Long Island are in better financial shape in 2013 as compared to the recession of 2008-2009, saying that Long Island’s unemployment rate in July was 6 percent (compared to 7.5 percent statewide) and is slowly dropping.
“We have turned the corner and grown back the jobs lost in the last recession,” he said, adding that economic challenges continue to be present, including potential repercussions of cuts in Federal programs that might be mandated by sequestration mandates coming out of Washington, D.C.
The comptroller stated that New York State’s recovery was premised on the concept of maintaining its “fiscal house was in order,” which was due in part to passing balanced budgets in New York. The comptroller’s office offers assistance to local governments to help identify fiscal issues, impending problems and creative solutions. These programs include comprehensive audits of local government to identify and assist in avoiding potential crises that have arisen in other municipalities across the country. When asked, DiNapoli stated that his office is in the process of completing an audit of the Town of Oyster Bay.
Future activities planned include the 2nd Annual Craft & Gift Fair to be held on Sunday, Oct. 6, on Old Country Road in the parking lot of the POB Public Library. There will be craft and service vendors of every type, musical entertainment, free face painting for children and fun for all.
With the upcoming November elections, the Chamber will be having a Candidate’s Forum at its Oct. 16 meeting, featuring candidates for Nassau County Executive, County Legislature and Town of Oyster Bay Supervisor.
Chamber President Gary Epstein invited everyone to contribute their ideas and energy to the Chamber and promised an exciting year for its members and the Chamber.
“We’re growing and moving forward in new directions, which will benefit our members and our community,” he said.
To learn more or join this important organization, visit the Chamber’s website at www.pobcoc.com.